Marketers are forgetting the importance of A/B testing

The value of A/B testing should not be underestimated, but all too often it’s overlooked.

A/B testing

What’s more effective: a Facebook campaign or a coupon? A TV commercial or influencer marketing? A £1m budget or a £10m budget? Increasing prices by 5%, or lowering them by 7%? A or B?

People know the answers, because they’ve tested and learned. Marketing is an applied science. In fact, life is. To develop your craft, you start with a proper strategy. But then you pack your bags and travel on the big A/B testing world map. The further you travel, the more you A/B test, the more you learn, and the more you raise your craft.

But A/B testing is on the retreat. Consulting firm KPMG has found just 17.5% of millennials’ purchase decisions are influenced by social media. Yet US marketers will soon be spending close to 50% of all marketing money on social media. Why? Because they’ve stopped travelling.

It’s easy not to A/B test. Because increasingly firms put people into small boxes, called social media, PR or performance marketing. They ask them to stay local. They don’t let them travel anymore on the large A/B testing world map. Why? Because working inside a small box is simpler. You can make a Facebook or Google ad in 10 minutes. No endless briefing meetings. No long creative process. Someone will click.

And if the boxes are smaller still, firms ask people to outsource the A/B testing – the critical learning – to agencies. If you work in such a small box, one day, you could easily be replaced by an algorithm that can A/B test faster, leaner and more effectively.

Thomas Barta Try ThisTry This: Think outside of your box. Which activities could really help the firm make a dent in the market? Which activities could really make a difference for customers? Then, mark your dream destinations on the large global A/B testing map. Perhaps it’s pricing, perhaps it’s outdoor ads. Make your bucket list, travel a bit. Then, travel a bit more. And if they don’t let you, go somewhere that does.